GIS- based Optimization and Analytics for Placement of Smart and Connected Infrastructure- BC-606

Project type: Research
Desired discipline(s): Engineering - civil, Engineering, Engineering - computer / electrical, Computer science, Mathematical Sciences
Company: Anonymous
Project Length: 6 months to 1 year
Preferred start date: 08/15/2021
Language requirement: English
Location(s): BC, Canada; Canada
No. of positions: 1-2
Desired education level: CollegeUndergraduate/BachelorMaster'sPhDPostdoctoral fellow
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About the company: 

The company is a technology and services start-up with the mission to accelerate the delivery of smart and connected communities by making it easier, faster and cheaper for service providers to find places to install the many devices needed to support technologies that can transform how our society works.  We connect asset owners and smart tenants to facilitate device deployment through an efficient, standardized process and digital platform backed by proprietary technology for the identification and analysis of potential sites for a device.  We then offer a digital process for the marketing, permitting, contract and asset management technology to enable device installers to find the best places to put their devices, obtain permits and real estate agreements, and manage their assets on an ongoing basis.  We are also building a unique geospatial database of demographic, economic and technical data to tackle the data gaps, quality issues and lack of transparency that hinders current infrastructure development.

 We are currently earning revenue using our software as a tool.  We are in the process of developing our first commercial version of the software.  For this, we need to build additional modeling and analytics features.

Describe the project.: 

Site acquisition is the science and art of finding the right sites to install smart and connected devices, such as fibre optic cable, wireless antennas and electric vehicle chargers.  It also includes getting the necessary permits and real estate agreements in place.

Current processes for suppliers to find and secure places to put their devices are manual, slow, expensive and inconsistent.  They have evolved from high value, low volume specialist real estate transactions which tend to be manual.  We seek to use technology to make them suitable for high volume and low value transactions, by making them faster, cheaper and more reliable. 

Through the project, we are seeking deep technical expertise to develop our proprietary analytics.  We currently have functional designs and prototypes for some of our analytics, however there is substantial scope for exploration and improvement.

Our analytics are focussed on solving geospatial problems related to the installation of smart and connected devices on including fibre optic cable, wireless antennas and electric vehicle charging stations.  These problems require optimization using technical, demographic and economics data.  The supporting technologies include our GIS system (QGIS), our web application and can include externally developed models too.

Example problems include:

  • Forecasting the demand for wireless and fibre telecommunications in a geographic area, including bandwidth requirements and revenue potential
  • Estimating the cost to deliver fibre optic cable between two points, in both rural and urban settings
  • Identifying the optimal route to place fibre between two points at least cost
  • Identifying the least cost means of providing telecommunications to underserved rural communities in Canada
  • Modelling the coverage of a wireless antenna by modelling the antenna range, based on 3d modelling of topography, buildings and vegetation in the area
  • Optimizing the placement of electric vehicle charging stations by co-optimizing customer demand and cost of installation

We are open-minded to the techniques used to solve the problems.  It is important that the solution can integrate with our software, can be refined and tuned, and is maintainable.

Required expertise/skills: 

Relevant skills include:

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GIS skills : Advanced level
Software development:  Python, Javascript, Vue frameowrk, Postgres/PostGIS
Optimization : particularly for geospatial problems
Urban studies:  to model factors and forecast demand for smart and connected devices

We are open minded on grade.  We are interesting in curiousity, technical competence and problem solving.  However we expect that the candidate would likely have a relevant undergraduate degree.